Zimbabwe should use its God-given resources, including the skills of its people, to develop the country and stop mourning over the negative impact of sanctions imposed by the West, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Speaking after joining Banket residents in cleaning up Kuwadzana Shopping Centre in the town, he said students will be exposed to modern science so that they develop inventions that develop the economy.
Already, over 90 patents have been granted to local students since the introduction of innovation hubs at State universities two years ago and he said the inventions would result in an increase in locally-produced products.
Innovation hubs, President Mnangagwa’s brainchild, provide a platform for innovators and researchers to develop their inventions up to prototypes with the aid of experienced staff in the area of technical skills development, entrepreneurship and business incubation.
Zimbabweans had capacity to overcome the effects of the illegal sanctions if they united towards a common goal and vision.
“We introduced innovation hubs at our universities. Eighteen months after introducing these innovation hubs, we now have over 90 patents or inventions done by our children,” said the President.
“We thank them for that. We have brilliant boys and girls in this country. Going forward, we can see that our country is going to be transformed by inventions by our children and skills from our children. We are a developing country, but we should not cry that we have sanctions imposed on us. We should look at what God has given us and develop our country. Those who want to come and assist us, they should do so on our own terms.
“We don’t want them to come and lecture us or rule us. They should rule their countries and we rule ours. This is our country. To you the schoolchildren, we will do our best as Government to make sure you are exposed to modern science and technologies because the future of this country lies in science and technology, in yourselves creating employment, jobs and products and services for the nation. The future is upon you. It’s your duty to develop our country for it to be at par with other countries.”
President Mnangagwa said unity was the major catalyst for national development.
He said even though Zimbabwe was slapped with illegal sanctions by the West, the country will still develop if citizens united and shunned violence.
“We don’t want people with a spirit of violence. Even God wants to see his people living in peace. If you see a church that preaches violence do not go to that church again. Churches should preach peace and unity.”
President Mnangagwa said Government had declared 2020 the year of productivity and trade, adding that Government will continue with the engagement and re-engagement drive with all countries of the world.
The President said following two successive years of drought, water levels in Kariba Dam had dropped, reducing power generation capacity from 1 050MW to 100MW.
“Due to climate change, we are already implementing other projects such as solar and thermal to avert load-shedding,” he said.
Turning to the clean-up, President Mnangagwa said Government would soon strengthen anti-litter laws to ensure a clean environment.
The clean-up is a national programme to foster clean cities and a clean environment.
The President said companies should contribute towards a clean environment through buying litter bins for their localities.
Hundreds of villagers gathered at Mahusekwa Growth Point, Mashonaland East Province, for the clean-up.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State in his office Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga commended the villagers for cleanliness.
“I would like to thank you all for continuing to show team spirit by continuously cleaning your environment,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said this year, the monthly clean-up will focus on smaller towns and other outlying areas.
“Over this past year, the national clean-up programme has been concentrated around cities. However, 2020 is a year with a difference as we are focusing on small towns, rural business centres, growth points so that no one is left behind.”
At Zanu PF Headquarters, the clean-up was led by secretary for Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Cde Douglas Mahiya.
He said the party workers were happy to participate in the programme.
“It starts with us. The headquarters is the party’s epicentre and as you can see, Harare has changed for the better since President Mnangagwa introduced something noble and good to ensure a healthy environment.
“As a party, we will be mobilising people to understand and motivate them to adhere to the President’s call and if we do not lead from the front, people will not listen because the people at the forefront will not be taking heed of President Mnangagwa’s call,” said Cde Mahiya.
At the Simon Muzenda (formerly Fourth Street) bus terminus in Harare, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said: “Our Constitution is very clear and very explicit that we want to keep our environment very clean for our benefit as a current generation, but also we need to keep that environment clean for future generations.
“We are very happy that our President Cde Mnangagwa is a lawyer and takes the issue of constitutionalism seriously. That is why he is taking the lead to ensure that we clean our environment. This will ensure that we breathe clean air and also we will enjoy clean water. So it is important to know that an environment which is clean guarantees people good health.”
Staff at Parliament cleaned streets surrounding the legislature.
Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda said: “We started by cleaning inside the Parliament Building and we also cleaned Nelson Mandela and Nkwame Nkrumah avenues and Sam Nujoma Street. This is because we believe that charity begins at home.”
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira led the national clean-up at Chivi Growth Point in the company of officials from Government departments and the private sector.
He urged Chivi Rural District Council to speed up the construction of decent market stalls for vendors.
“Today’s clean-up has shown that the general public is aware of the need to keep the environment clean, but market stalls here are in a deplorable state. They are an eyesore. Chivi RDC should urgently build new market stalls. The local authority must not just collect revenue from individuals who operate shabby market stalls.
“A clean environment would inevitably lure both domestic and foreign investment and substantially grow the economy,” said Minister Chadzamira.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba called for cleanliness to avoid the spread of diseases like typhoid and cholera.
Addressing delegates at Mutare Provincial Hospital, Dr Gwaradzimba said: “Mutare Provincial Hospital is an area that requires enough attention in terms of how waste is discarded and managed to minimise the spread of diseases. I am advised that stakeholders here have been participating religiously in the national clean-up and I am urging this institution to develop effective mechanisms to ensure the hospital area is clean all the time.”
She saluted the efforts made by Government departments, civil society, NGOs, captains of industry, vendors, religious organisations, and tertiary institutions, in cleaning the environment.
In Beitbridge, residents and businesspeople teamed up to clean an open area between Pagomba Cafe and Ronnie’s Club, which has become a headache for the municipality.
Council collects an average of 700 tonnes of solid waste monthly. Empty beer cans, food containers, and plastic water containers, are among items littering the open space.